The GFWC Woman’s Club of Vinton held its annual Pinwheel Garden planting at the Vinton Municipal Building on April 3. Each year the members join with the Vinton Police Department in the observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
This year Woman’s Club members were joined in planting the pinwheels and banner by Police Chief Tom Foster, Lt. Glenn Austin, Mayor Brad Grose, Councilwoman Janet Scheid, Councilman Keith Liles, Town Manager Barry Thompson, and Planning and Zoning Director Anita McMillan for the event.
Woman’s Club spokesperson Kathryn Sowers accepted a proclamation from town council at its meeting which followed the pinwheel planting, declaring April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. She thanked the town, and especially the police department, for their support.
Sowers told council that the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs is celebrating their 127th anniversary of service and volunteering.
“In all 50 states and more than a dozen countries, our members work locally to create changes,” said Sowers. “GFWC clubwomen are mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, granddaughters, doctors, teachers, CEO’s, and community leaders who are dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.”
She noted that Child Abuse Prevention is one of the primary causes they advocate for, with similar pinwheel gardens planted across the United States during April. In Virginia, the Prevent Child Abuse Virginia organization distributes the pinwheels.
“Prevent Child Abuse introduced the pinwheel in 2008 as the official symbol of great childhoods,” said Sowers. “The pinwheel reminds us of our own childhoods and the fact that all children deserve to be happy and healthy.”
GFWC has gained a reputation as a powerful force in the fight against domestic violence.
“GFWC adopted as our signature project to work in bringing hope to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse,” Sowers said. “Each year over 4.1 million referrals are made to child protection agencies, with 7.4 million children affected. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. GFWC members care because we all play a role in children’s lives and because the costs are too high.”
“The Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign provides a unique opportunity for all of us, individuals and organizations alike, to take action by learning more about prevention, supporting child and family-friendly policies and services, and volunteering at the local, state, and national levels. All children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future,” she said. “We must step up, stand up, speak up, and report abuse. We are building community and building hope.”